The first time I saw Pavonia praemorsa was at a Malanseuns Trade Day where the shrubs had been trained into the most beautiful standards. For those of you who still like to have pom poms in the garden, this is definitely the one for you. The round somewhat crinkled leaves are also rather special.
IN THE GARDEN
As I sit writing this letter, there is soft rain falling in the background. What a blessing after a few hellishly hot days!
The jacarandas are spectacular this year, the Cape chestnut is in bloom, and the garden is full of colour. Hydrangea Fireworks, brought from England more than a few years ago, is putting on a gorgeous display. So are our new tall form alstroemerias, and I can finally determine exactly how tall they get!
Waist high Campanula!
The delicate Sphaeralcea
We have just started with our first mini-prune to ensure a good summer display. The salvias in particular have been bursting at the seams, and the winter-flowering ones have been pruned back so that the summer-flowering ones can shine.
IN THE NURSERY
Click here to view all the plants in this newsletter on the website.
· Indigenous plants
A waterwise fast growing evergreen vine with soft wood stems and greyish-green diamond-shaped leaves, the Cape sweetpea (Dipogon lignosus) has dense racemes of scented magenta flowers from spring to summer. It can grow up to 5m high and likes sun to semi-shade.
Scabiosa africana Blue is an approximately 60cm high clump-forming perennial with rosettes of deeply lobed leaves, and blue pom pom flowers which attract butterflies from spring to summer. It is evergreen and very hardy, and wants full sun.
The rare Thunbergia atriplicifolia is another clump-forming indigenous perennial, but this one is deciduous and prefers semi-shade. An attractive plant with furry stalkless oval leaves, its large pale yellow flowers attract insects and butterflies from spring to autumn. It is indigenous to the grassland areas from the Eastern Cape to Limpopo.
We have the star of our story this month, Pavonia praemosa, in 5 ltr bags. This fast growing evergreen upright shrub likes full sun and dry sandy soil, and the pale yellow flowers attract birds, bees and butterflies all season.
We (finally) also have an interesting selection of Streptocarpus hybrids for sale in the nursery.
· Exotic plants
The pyramids of white flowers of Buddleja White profusion attract butterflies from summer to autumn. This is a fast growing, very hardy evergreen shrub with lance-shaped leaves and arching shoots that reach an average height of 2m. It likes full sun.
All the Deutzia scabra plants are in flower and looking gorgeous. Like the Buddleja, this is an approximately 2m high upright shrub with arching branches and lance-shaped leaves. The pendant-shaped double white flowers have a pink tinge. Deciduous and very hardy, it likes sun to semi-shade. Prune after flowering.
Campanula latifolia Pale blue is a very hardy clump-forming upright perennial with bright green rounded leaves and spikes of pale blue bell-shaped flowers in summer. It is deciduous, and the unbranched stems should be cut back after flowering. Plant in semi-shade.
Hydrangea macrophylla is a rare rounded shrub with large bright green leaves and clusters of ivory-white flowers from summer to autumn. Also deciduous and very hardy, it grows about 1.5m tall and is happiest in semi-shade.
It’s Open Garden season in Elgin, Constantia, Stellenbosch, and KZN! These are not to be missed, so check the internet for dates and maps.
On a more personal note, with South Africa off the UK’s red list, I am off to spend almost a week in Kruger Park with English family. The highlight of our year! Beautiful trees in bloom, gorgeous veld, good company - what more can you want.
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